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Mona Kareem and Sara Elkamel at Shubbak Festival

British Library

Mona Kareem launches her fiercely unapologetic new book of poetry, I Will Not Fold These Maps.

A stateless Bidoon poet, Kareem’s work is internationally acclaimed for its power and immediacy from her first publication at the age of 14. The collection comprises poetry spanning her career so far, presenting them together in English translation for the first time, side by side with the original Arabic.

“Mona Kareem skips and leaps across her poems with the patience of one who believes in the power of silences, of blank spaces, that can liberate perception from the hyperreflex of easy identification” - Fady Joudah

Winning fans around the world, her poems are surreal, bridging the gap between the self and what lies outside. They enact a boundless porosity between the body, nature, and the material world. Kareem plays with language to explore the infinite depths of human experience and identity. These poems, with dates, times and places obscured, present us with new maps of precarious, unstable, and permeable geopolitics. Kareem delineates ‘rupture’ as a facet of the migrant’s experience.

This will be a powerful event of bilingual readings by Kareem and her translator, Sara Elkamel, discussion of timely, ever-present and universal themes, and celebrating the wonder of language and the possibilities of poetry to convey the most difficult experiences, hosted by editor and translator, Nashwa Nasreldin.

This event is a joint presentation with Shubbak Festival and the Poetry Translation Centre.

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